You have found the home of your dreams and have taken the exciting next step towards owning your new home. At this time, you will be sitting down to compile an offer to purchase to inform a seller that you are interested in buying their home. Thoroughly work through your offer to purchase to stipulate exactly what you are buying, including all the house’s fixtures.
Be certain of what items are fixtures and which are not, before taking ownership. Some regular disputes between a buyer and seller often include house fixtures, but this can be easily avoided with a clear guide of what stays and what goes when the seller moves from the premises.
Let’s have a quick look at what constitutes a ‘fixture’. Also what could be listed as an item that is included in your offer. In other words, everything you might take ownership of at the time that the transaction is completed.
What Are You Buying
- Appliances – South African have an unspoken rule that appliances like washing machines and microwaves remain the property of the seller. Except when the appliance is specifically installed and fixed. Like built-in fridges or wall-mounted TV’s where the TV can be removed (moves with the seller) excluding the mountings.
- Garden furniture – If the bench or the gnome can move, then it remains the seller’s property. If it is cemented in place, then it is considered to be a fixture. Including that bolted down porch swing!
- Window dressings – Blinds and railing will remain behind. Speak to the seller about custom curtains. Ask if they would be interested in selling them with the house, before including/excluding them to your offer.
- Lights and knobs – Sellers might remove doorknobs and light fixtures especially if they were pricey and chosen to suit the seller’s personal style. Confirm what the seller intends to remove and what you may need to replace later.
- Decorative items inside and outside of the house – If it is completely stuck there, it stays there.
- Outbuildings – Discuss with the seller whether they are happy to leave their tool shed or wendy house behind. Do not automatically assume that it will be included in the sale!